North Cebu Beaches are some of the best beaches in the Philippines!
The beaches in Cebu North are unique to their location, featuring glistening white sands, palm-tree-fringed shorelines, and inviting azure waters.
I spent 7 days in North Cebu and have put together this complete guide of the 11 Best North Cebu Beaches including where to find them and what to expect at each one.
WHERE TO FIND NORTH CEBU BEACHES
The majority of the beaches in northern Cebu are located on two smaller islands just off the coast of the northernmost tip of Cebu Island.
These two islands are known as Malapascua Island and Bantayan Island, both of which are easily reachable by boat from mainland Cebu.
I have divided this Cebu Beaches guide into two parts:
- North Cebu Beaches on Malapascua
- North Cebu Beaches on Bantayan
The best route for your North Cebu itinerary is to first visit Malapascua Island for 3 days and then take a boat over to Bantayan Island for 3 days.
At the bottom of this guide, I have included detailed information on how to get from Cebu City to North Cebu, where to stay on each of the islands, and all other logistics.
NORTH CEBU BEACHES: MALAPASCUA ISLAND
When you arrive in Malapascua, you’ll definitely want to take a dip in the ocean to cool off and what better spot to do it than at Bounty Beach?!
Its palm-fringed shoreline, white sands, turquoise waters, dive shops, and beach resorts make it a hard-to-beat destination here in North Cebu!
No matter what time of day you visit Bounty Beach, there are plenty of things to do such as going for a stroll along the coastline, grabbing a bite to eat at one of the seaside restaurants, or beach bumming in a hammock.
One of my favorite spots along Bounty Beach is Ocean Vida Bar and Restaurant featuring bean bags on the sand with candlelit tables and it’s also one of the best beaches in Cebu North to watch the sunset.
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The second-best North Cebu beach in Malapascua is Langob Beach, also known as North Beach.
It’s not quite popular as Bounty Beach so you can expect to see fewer tourists here which definitely isn’t a bad thing.
One of the best things to do on Langob Beach is to go snorkeling around the reefs just a stone’s throw from the shore.
It’s a popular location to spot large sardine bait balls that circulate the area.
Once a week, Neverland Hostel hosts a beach clean-up that everybody is welcome to join and it’s a great opportunity to meet other like-minded travelers along with the resident locals whilst doing a great deed for the environment.
Find All → Hostels / Hotels / Resorts in Malapascua
Hidden Beach isn’t the most ‘Hidden Beach’ but it is indeed a worthy spot for a quick swim and a snorkel while you are seeking out the beaches in North Cebu!
Related Article: 3 Week Philippines Itinerary
Hidden Beach is located on the far most eastern end of Langob Beach and there is a set of concrete stairs leading over the headland which emerges onto the pristine shoreline of the so-called ‘Hidden Beach’.
Beach bum on the sand, snorkel the reef, or explore the abandoned resort that was semi-destroyed during the infamous Yolanda typhoon of 2013.
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Gugma Beach is yet another one of Malapascua’s iconic locations that lie in an idyllic cove surrounded by coconut palms and a colorful coral reef.
Gugma Beach can be easily reached via a dirt trail from Hidden Beach. The short walk beneath the palm trees makes for a great photo spot.
The only downside to Gugma Beach is the uninviting sea urchins that lurk in the shallow waters of the reef.
But please don’t let this deter you from visiting as there are some nicer spots to swim at the southern end of Gugma Beach.
See More → Malapascua Travel Guide
Lighthouse Beach is hands down one of my favorite beaches in North Cebu to watch the sunset.
This tucked-away little cove located on the west coast of Malapascua island is not to be missed during your visit!
There’s a small bar built into the cliffs on your way down to the beach, selling cold beers and other mixed drinks.
The Lighthouse Beach Bar features a balcony terrace and wooden lounge chairs along the beach which is set up for guests to enjoy a relaxing time with a beer in hand while watching the sun setting over the horizon.
KALANGGAMAN ISLAND BEACH
Kalanggaman Island is a slice of paradise off the south coast of Malapascua Island and it’s home to one of the best beaches in North Cebu.
You can book a tour of Kalanggaman Island online in advance to be guaranteed the best rates.
Kalanggaman Island is most famous for its incredible sandbar that is surrounded by crystalline waters and a lush palm tree forest on one end.
This little tropical paradise seemingly lies in the middle of the ocean.
It takes around 2 hours by boat from Malapascua to Kalanggaman Island and the trip costs around 8oo pesos for the boat and 500 pesos entrance fee.
This tour also includes a BBQ lunch on board the boat.
If you wish to spend a night on Kalanggaman island the only option is to stay in a tent at the campground on the island.
You can take your own tent to set up at the campground or you can rent one when you’re there for around 400 pesos.
There is also a fee of 750 pesos that must be paid to stay overnight.
A day trip or overnight stay at Kalanggaman Island is one of the best things to do in North Cebu!
Book Now → Kalanggaman Island Tour From Cebu
NORTH CEBU BEACHES: BANTAYAN ISLAND
Kota Beach is rated as one of the best beaches for its glistening white sands and palm tree-fringed shoreline.
This is just one of many Bantayan Island beaches you do not want to miss!
Kota Beach Bantayan is located in the main tourist area of Santa Fe on Bantayan Island.
Most accommodations are situated in Santa Fe so it is within walking distance to get to Kota Beach.
Kota Beach faces east making it one of the best beaches in Cebu to watch the sunrise as it peeps up over the horizon.
Take a dip during the day at Kota Beach to cool off and enjoy the idyllic scenes that this beach in Cebu North has to offer!
There are a few oceanside resorts and beach bars dotted along Kota Beach serving up cold brews and delicious meals.
Most have happy hours between 4 pm and 6 pm, so make sure to get there around this time if you want to score some cheap drinks.
Apart from that, there isn’t a whole lot more to do on Kota Beach than go swimming in the ocean, lay in a hammock underneath the coconut palms, or read a book by the beach.
Kota Beach really is one of the best beaches in Cebu and I highly recommend adding this epic spot to your Bantayan Island itinerary.
See More → 15 Awesome Things To Do In Bantayan
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PARADISE BEACH BANTAYAN
Paradise Beach Bantayan, also known as Sandira Beach is a must-see location to add to your list of North Cebu beaches to visit.
Paradise Beach Bantayan can be found on the southeastern coastline of Bantayan Island.
Using Google maps, simply type in Paradise Beach or Sandira Beach and this will direct you to the exact pin location.
Search All → Homestays / Hotels / Resorts in Bantayan
From the main hub of Sante Fe, it’s approximately a 15-minute drive or a 45-minute walk to Paradise Beach Cebu.
When you arrive at Paradise Beach Bantayan there is a small tourist office where you will have to pay the 50 pesos entrance fee before continuing down to the beach.
Azure waters, a powdery white shoreline, small beach caves, and tall coconut palm trees are good enough reasons to visit this natural beach haven!
Roam up and down the coastline, dipping in the ocean, discovering the rocky outcrops and small caves, or relax in the shade under the sheltered beach huts.
At the western end of Paradise Beach Cebu, you can find half a dozen beach chairs and umbrellas which makes for another good spot to beach bum for an hour or so!
A small reef can also be found just offshore so you may want to bring snorkeling gear with you to explore the underwater world at this North Cebu beach.
VIRGIN ISLAND BEACHES
Island hopping to Virgin Island is one of the best day trips to be had in North Cebu.
Boasting white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, cliff jumping, beach bars, and coastal boardwalks, this is one of the best destinations not to be missed on your North Cebu itinerary.
Virgin Island is a short 30-minute boat ride from Kota Beach on the east coast of Bantayan Island.
An island hopping tour to Virgin Island can be easily organized through the reception of your accommodation or at one of the tour desks dotted around the main town of Santa Fe.
The total cost for a small outrigger boat over to Virgin Island Bantayan is around 800 pesos, so if you are a group of 4 and up to 8 people you can split the cost between you.
The Island Hopping tour includes a visit to Virgin Island Cebu and also Balidbid Lagoon on Bantayan Island before returning back to Kota Beach in Santa Fe.
There are many things to do on Virgin Island to keep you entertained for an entire day such as cliff jumping, snorkeling the reef, beach bumming in a hammock, swimming in the shallow turquoise waters, and coastal strolls along the wooden boardwalk.
Virgin Island’s main beach is as dreamy as it gets and it looks like something straight out of a postcard!
Sugary white sands, azure waters, and shaded huts under the coconut trees are the definition of an island paradise.
A trip to Virgin Island Bantayan will leave you feeling sun-kissed and content after experiencing some of the best beaches in Cebu North!
Full Blog Post → Bantayan Island Hopping
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BALIDBID LAGOON & BEACH
Next on this list of North Cebu Beaches is Balidbid Lagoon which was the highlight of my trip during my adventures in North Cebu.
This unique saltwater lagoon is a must-see destination during your stay.
Balidbid Lagoon can be found on the eastern coastline of Bantayan Island. Using Google maps, simply type in Balidbid Lagoon and this will direct you to the exact pin location.
From the main hub of Sante Fe, it’s approximately a 15-minute drive or a 1-hour walk to this Bantayan Lagoon.
When you arrive at Balidbid Lagoon, one of the local landowners will make themselves known to you and you will have to pay them a small entrance fee of 20 pesos before continuing down to the lagoon.
This insane spot blew me away when I sent my drone up to capture some aerial shots of Balidbid Lagoon and the beach, reminding me somewhat of the Whitsundays in Australia!
Balidbid features a saltwater lagoon with an ocean inlet that is surrounded by lush greenery and boasts a glistening white sand beach along the edges.
There was a slight current in the lagoon when we visited, so we walked upstream, jumped in the water, and floated down toward the end of the inlet.
We did this several times as it was lots of fun and also very relaxing!
Do note that the current can get quite strong so know your limits and listen to the locals if they advise against swimming in the lagoon.
Full Blog Post → Balidbid Lagoon
Last but not least in this Cebu beaches guide is Sugar Beach!
Crystal clear waters, sugary white sands, and a palm-tree-fringed shoreline are what makes Sugar Beach a popular beach in North Cebu.
Sugar Beach Bantayan can be found in Santa Fe, just a 10-minute walk to the south of Kota Beach.
Sugar Beach also faces east, making it another great spot to watch the sunrise on Bantayan Island if you’re an early bird like me!
I low-key witnessed one of the best sunrises I have ever seen on Sugar Beach, so be sure to set your alarm.
There are a number of beach resorts and beach bars along the water’s edge at Sugar Beach and some welcome outside guests to enjoy their facilities as long as you purchase something to eat or drink.
I personally stayed at Sf Cantina Resort which is located a stone’s throw from Sugar Beach Bantayan.
During the few days I spent here, I went for countless swims in the crystal clear waters to cool off and sipped on a few beers while I was at it!
HOW TO GET TO GET TO MALAPASCUA
The most common route is from Cebu City to Malapascua with the use of the public bus and then a short boat ride to Malapascua Island.
The bus from Cebu to Malapascua operates on a daily basis and departs every hour from the Cebu North Bus Terminal bound for New Maya Port at the northernmost tip of Cebu Island.
The cost of the bus is around 230 pesos and the journey time is 4 hours.
Another option for getting to Malapascua is to ride in a shared minivan or take a private taxi which includes a pick-up from your hotel in Cebu City and drop-off at New Maya Port.
This is the option that I went for because it was much more comfortable than the bus and the journey time was faster.
Book Now → Transfer from Cebu to Malapascua
ARRIVING AT NEW MAYA PORT
The bus or minivan will arrive at New Maya Port and from here you will need to take an outrigger boat over to Malapascua Island which takes around 30 minutes.
The cost of the boat from New Maya Port to Malapascua is 100 pesos providing there is a minimum of 15 passengers to fill the boat.
If there are fewer than 15 passengers the cost of the boat is 1500 pesos total which can be divided between you and other travelers heading over to Malapascua Cebu.
Boats depart from New Maya Port to Malapascua every hour, 7 days a week, between 6:30 am and 4:30 pm.
If for some reason you miss the last boat to Malapascua Cebu, there is accommodation nearby at New Maya Port where you will have to spend the night and take the first boat over to the island the following morning. The name of the accommodation is D & N Lodge.
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WHERE TO STAY IN MALAPASCUA
Malapascua Island has dozens of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations in Malapascua below that I personally recommend.
LUXURY: TEPANEE BEACH RESORT
Tepanee Beach Resort is the best luxury place to stay in Malapascua, featuring a private beach area, a hot tub, an in-house restaurant with a bar, beautiful gardens, and free wifi.
The beachside cottages are cozy with bamboo furnishings and fitted with air conditioning, a minibar, a large bed, a private bathroom, and a balcony.
Tepanee Beach Resort can also help you organize water activities, island hopping tours, and scuba diving.
MID RANGE: HIPPOCAMPUS BEACH RESORT
This 3-star accommodation is one of the most popular places to stay in Malapascua.
Located on the shores of Bounty Beach, Hippocampus features a seaside restaurant and bar, tropical gardens, and a dive shop offering PADI and SSI-certified scuba diving.
Each room has air conditioning/fan, large beds, a private bathroom, a work desk, free wifi, and ocean views from the balcony.
It’s the perfect place to stay for friends, couples, or families on a mid-range budget.
BUDGET: MALAPASCUA BUDGET INN
Malapascua Budget Inn is a top-rated hostel on the island with a great central location. It’s within walking distance of the beach, supermarkets, restaurants, and bars.
Choose from a dorm room or private room, each with air conditioning, comfortable beds, and free wifi. There is also a communal lounge area and hangout bar to meet new people.
Great for solo travelers, couples, friends, or families traveling on a budget.
For All Other Places To Stay, Search On Booking.com
MALAPASCUA ISLAND – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
There are no ATM machines on Malapascua Island so you will have to stock up on cash before you arrive.
I recommend doing so in Cebu City where there are hundreds of ATM machines located around the city.
Getting around the island is quite simply done by either motorbike, bicycle, or on foot.
The majority of travelers will get around Malapascua by walking as the island is so small and you can literally walk from one end to the other in less than one hour.
If your legs are painted on, you can rent a motorbike from a local for around 300 pesos per day or get a ride on the back of a motorbike taxi for as little as 30 pesos.
The Internet connection in Malapascua Cebu is relatively good. Both Smart and Globe SIM cards will work just fine.
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MALAPASCUA TO BANTAYAN ISLAND
To continue your North Cebu itinerary from Malapascua Island to Bantayan Island you’ll have to take an outrigger boat and the cost is around 800-900 pesos per person.
If you can find a small group of people to share the boat with, the cost will be lower.
The journey time between Malapascua Cebu and Bantayan Island is 2 to 3 hours depending on the sea conditions.
See More → 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
WHERE TO STAY ON BANTAYAN ISLAND
Bantayan has dozens of accommodation options to choose from when planning your trip.
I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
LUXURY: AMIHAN BEACH CABANAS
Amihan Beach Cabanas is the most luxurious resort on Bantayan Island, featuring a restaurant, bar, outdoor terrace, and a private beach area, and breakfast is included for all guests.
Choose from either a sea view room, a villa, or a family room. Each room has air conditioning, views from the balcony, a private bathroom, flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi.
It’s the perfect place to stay for couples, a group of friends, or families on a luxury budget.
MID RANGE: SF CANTINA
Sf Cantina is a small and cozy guesthouse located right on the beach in Sante Fe, featuring a beach bar and restaurant, free Wi-Fi, lounge chairs, and oceanfront rooms.
The rooms have air conditioning and are fitted with a flat-screen TV, large comfortable beds, a wardrobe, and a private bathroom.
Sf Cantina is an affordable place to stay for couples, friends, or families.
BUDGET: EDSAN APARTMENT
Edsan Apartment is the best budget accommodation on the island. It’s centrally located in Santa Fe and features a garden, BBQ facilities, a shared kitchen area, a terrace, and free Wi-Fi.
Enjoy your privacy in these budget apartments which can sleep 2 people and up to 6 people and are fitted with air-conditioning/fan-cooled, large beds, a private bathroom, and a patio.
It’s the perfect place to stay for solo travelers, couples, friends, or families on a budget.
For All Other Places To Stay, Search On Booking.com
GETTING AROUND BANTAYAN ISLAND
There are a couple of transportation methods for getting around to all of the best North Cebu beaches on Bantayan Island and they are by scooter, habal habal, tricycle, or jeepney.
You can rent a scooter in Bantayan for as little as 250 pesos per day and make your own way around all of the Bantayan Island tourist spots at your own pace.
The best place to rent a scooter is via your accommodation.
If you are not confident driving a scooter, the other option is to hail a tricycle or habal habal (motorbike taxi) along the main road in Santa Fe.
For a 15-minute drive, you can expect to pay around 50-100 pesos.
NORTH CEBU MAP
WHAT TO PACK FOR CEBU
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FINAL THOUGHTS – NORTH CEBU BEACHES
I hope you found this guide useful and if you have any questions please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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THANKS FOR READING
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